Each week we identify seven hitters who are rostered in fewer than 15% of fantasy baseball leagues who should be on your radar. For the most part, the players included in this article are best suited for inclusion in deeper leagues (12 teams or more). However, with the multitude of injuries creating holes in fantasy baseball rosters, you may need to eventually rely on some of the players referenced in this article in order to field a complete and competitive fantasy lineup. We reference Fantasy Pros’ roster percentages (as of Sunday afternoon) in this article.
Jarren Duran, OF, BOS (14%)
There was a bit of hype surrounding Jarren Duran’s call-up in mid-July, but we can finally feature him in this column as his roster percentage has dipped below 15%. Duran got off to a very slow start to his major league career and compiling an ugly .150/.186/.300 triple slash and a 39.5% K rate in his first 14 games for the Red Sox. Things have gotten a little bit better since then and in his next nine games, Duran’s triple-slash improved to .282/.282/.436. Unfortunately, he didn’t walk at all in those last nine games and his strikeout rate was still very high at 35.9%, factors that big league pitchers can and will certainly look to take advantage of. Duran had a career .312 BA in three minor league seasons and added some power (15 HR in 46 games for AAA-Worcester this season) this season, but is probably a better long-term option in dynasty leagues as opposed to a player who can help your fantasy team this season.
Rowdy Tellez, 1B, MIL (11%)
We’ve previously featured Rowdy Tellez in this column, but like Willy Adames, he has really come into his own since his trade from the Blue Jays to the Brewers. Heading into Sunday’s action, Tellez has posted a .333/.407/.613 triple slash, slugged six home runs, and driven in 20 runs in his first 29 games for the Brewers. Ironically, the lefty-swinging Tellez has been a much better hitter against lefty pitching (.324 BA) as opposed to right-handed pitching (.239 BA). He’s also been a must-start in DFS when playing at Milwaukee’s American Family Field. Tellez is batting .371/.452/.686 in 14 home games as a Brewer.
Tyler Wade, 2B/3B/SS/OF, NYY (8%)
With Gleyber Torres possibly sidelined until the end of the month and Anthony Rizzo currently on the COVID IL, Tyler Wade should see enough playing time to help add some depth to deep league fantasy baseball teams. Wade can play all over the baseball field and even when he isn’t in the Yankees starting lineup he’s often brought into games in the later innings as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner. With his excellent speed, he’s already stolen 12 bases thus far this season. However, Wade is more than just a speedy defensive replacement player. Over his past nine games spanning the last two weeks, Wade is batting .556 and has stolen six bases.
Connor Joe, 1B/OF, COL (7%)
Connor Joe has been getting regular at-bats at the top of the Rockies lineup of late, filling in for injured outfielder Raimel Tapia and as someone who’s trying to prove that he should be considered for a long-term role for the Rockies, Joe is getting noticed. In his first 11 games in the month of August, Joe is batting a modest but solid .270 with four HR and 10 RBI. Rockies manager Bud Black likes what he’s seeing from Joe thus far and told reporters that “Connor is showing us really good major league at-bats against major league pitching. That’s the thing that sticks out to me, the coaching staff, and his teammates. He’s on pitches. He’s swinging at strikes, taking balls. The swing is crisp and there is bat speed through the zone and he’s trying to make a statement, simple as that.” With the Rockies already looking ahead to 2022, Joe should continue to see regular at-bats moving forward.
Frank Schwindel, 1B, CHC (2%)
Frank Schwindel, who the Cubs claimed off of waivers, was asked to try to replace the traded Anthony Rizzo and so far, he’s been up to the task. In his first 12 games as a Cub, he’s batted .390 with three HR and 12 RBI. Despite posting a .286/.320/.479 triple-slash in eight seasons, the 29-year-old Schwindel has been a career minor leaguer but once given the opportunity to show his stuff in the big leagues, he’s hit the ground running. With the Cubs playing out the string for the rest of the season and Schwindel getting everyday at-bats close to the top of their lineup, his bat can provide depth to fantasy baseball teams in deep fantasy leagues. He’s been especially effective against left-handed pitching, batting .360/.407/.880 against southpaws so far this season.
Yonny Hernandez, 2B/3B/SS, TEX (1%)
Yonny Hernandez is a speedster who should be on your watchlist. The Rangers’ rookie has been getting some limited playing time over the past two weeks, but already has three SB in his first eight games. Hernandez has a .394 lifetime OBP in six minor league seasons. He’s stolen as many as 44 bases in a single minor league season and has 154 career minor league stolen bases to his credit.
Yohel Pozo, C, TEX (<1%)
Keep your eye on Yohel Pozo, who made his major league debut for the Rangers on Friday night and has four hits in his first eight bats heading into Sunday’s action. Pozo had been absolutely raking for AAA-Round Rock before his callup, batting .337 with 19 HR and 63 RBI in 66 games and it’s been a tiny sample size in the majors thus far, but he’s continued his hot hitting ways. He might make for a good add in two-catcher leagues.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter and @justinparadisdesigns on Instagram)